There is an old saying that says, “Trifles make perfection but perfection is no trifle”.

When we contemplate this for a moment, we perceive its truth. In great works of art, it is that added touch that makes the ordinary painting a masterpiece. In athletics, a runner may win every race by a foot, and a foot certainly is a trifle in a run of a mile, yet winning is no trifle. In business, management is constantly looking for the employee who is just a little better than the crowd. It is the trifles that make perfection.

It is sad to see those who make a half-hearted effort. Mediocracy seems to be the rule these days. Anything worth doing at all is still worth doing right, yet few, when doing a job, take time to tend to the trifles that spell the difference between a so-so job and one of perfection.

When it comes to things divine, we dare not give God our second best. We read of those in Laodicea to whom Jesus said, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot, so then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth”.

James tells us, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all”.

We are to strive for perfection, for Jesus declares, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”.

Absolute perfection is beyond our reach, but the more we strive for it, the closer we will become. We are told that when we have done all those things commanded, we should say, “we are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do”.

No one believes in lying, cheating or stealing, yet many feel that a little white lie is all right, while they cheat just a little on their income tax and take small souvenirs from restaurants, hotels and public places. These things may be just trifles, yet whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point is guilty of all.

It is heartbreaking to run a mile and lose by only a foot. The loser expended almost as much energy as the winner, but he lacked that extra push, that trifle that made the other man the winner.

Knowing that trifles make perfection, let us turn it around, for the reverse is also true. The absence of these trifles causes rejection.

A parts inspector in a factory must reject every part that does not fall within the allowable tolerances. The labor expended on the imperfect part is just the same as the acceptable one and no one but an expert could tell the difference, yet the one is rejected and the other passes.

Some of our faults are known only to us and the judge of all the earth. Our outward appearance may not reveal our inward faults, but when we stand to be judged, our Lord will know who lacked the trifles and who will be accepted into the glorious Kingdom of God which certainly will NOT be a trifle.

We are told that there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth at the judgment seat of Christ. Some will be rejected because of their flagrant sins. Is it not possible, however, that there will be some, who kept most of God’s commands, but did not attend to trifles? Their neglect of trifles caused them to offend in one point, thus causing them to become guilty of all.

Let us be wise. We must strive for perfection. God knows the allowable tolerances, but we don’t. Remember that trifles make perfection but perfection is no trifle.